A good friend recently spilled one of her darkest secrets to me. “I know it’s geeky,” she said. “But I love Twilight. Love it. I’m addicted to the love story.”
As a writer, I’m told that if I create a book without a love story, it won’t sell. It could be a masterpiece of intrigue and excitement, but no one would read it. People demand stories about love. And why? We’re addicted to it.
The idea of love addiction has made its rounds of scientific communities, from Freud to Drs. Peele and Brodsky. When we’re addicted to love, we spend our lives searching for another human being to fill a void in our lives. Sometimes it seems like day-to-day living can only be bearable if there is a romantic relationship involved.
Being addicted to love isn’t unlike being addicted to drugs. You know that post-breakup feeling of emptiness and loneliness? It’s a lot like withdrawal. No wonder we seek out things that remind us of when we were in love, no matter how “geeky” those things are.
The problem with love addiction is just that – it’s an addiction, not a solution. Finding someone to love won’t solve all of my problems. All right, maybe it’ll solve my dateless weekends, but it creates new problems, too. That’s part of the complexity of being human. But chasing after love to avoid a withdrawal (or worse, a relapse into unhealthy love) is a dangerous game to play.
This love addiction reveals something deeper than a desire for romance. We were created to experience awesome, fulfilling love every day of the week. And, pardon the slang, but one hit off of God’s love and you’re set with a buzz for life.
I often forget that God unfailingly keeps his covenant of love to me.
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations… (Deuteronomy 7:9)
God’s goal isn’t to show off or laugh at my mistakes. It’s to bring my life full circle and to show me true, heart-filling love. There’s nothing wrong with a good movie or book, but the instant I yearn for those stories more than I desire a relationship based on God’s love, I’ve lost focus.
If you don’t think you can stop your love addiction in its tracks, just think of all the people who have gone before you. I love to look at people in the Bible to see just how far God took them. It’s kind of like doing a workout video where you actually see people getting tired or taking breaks. I like to know that even in the Old and New Testaments, there were people who were just as in need of grace as I am.
Think of these outcasts, for example:
David and Bathsheba were so focused on their version of love that they almost didn’t notice when others got hurt in the process. But God didn’t give up on them, even though he had several chances. He poured out his love and brought healing to their lives. (2 Samuel 11)
Paul was a bounty hunter, and Peter was a liar and coward, yet God turned their lives around. Sure, making Paul go blind may not seem like a very loving way to do things, but God could have done nothing. Thanks to the love God has even for the cruelest or weakest people, we all enjoy enough grace and mercy to wipe away all of our mess-ups. (Acts 9; Matthew 26, Acts 2)
For anyone who dreams of rescue, think of Ruth and Daniel. Though years apart chronologically, God still worked for their good in similar ways. Daniel was rescued from death several times through his faith in God’s love, and Ruth was consistently cared for, even when she was homeless.
There are cheesy love stories all over – guilty pleasures like teen chick lit and movies from the 90s. (She’s All That, anyone?) Just remember that there is only one true source of love. Everything else is just a fill-in drug.
If you know someone who is hooked on love stories, will you email them this post?
Photo credit: mySAPL